It’s been very, very quiet on the Orlando Pride front for a while now, and I know some of you might be a little concerned. As such, I thought we could address those feelings, and look for some answers. Unfortunately, news regarding the Pride’s off-season has been as rare as a Marc Skinner sighting over the last month or so. Let’s get to it!
It has been 56 days since Marta agreed to a new contract with the Pride. The good news is that arguably the greatest player ever in the women’s game decided to remain with the club. While the terms were not made public, it is most certainly a good deal for the team. The terms are good enough for both sides, and one would guess that it won’t affect Skinner’s efforts to bring in new players for his system. While Marta will be 34 years old to start the 2020 season, she still has the ability to make players look silly trying to defend her. Last season she led the team with six goals. While that doesn’t sound great for her or the team, remember that was through 14 games, as she was away on international duty for much of the season and also missed time with an injury and a suspension. She is a leader on a team that will likely be young if Skinner has his way with things.
Speaking of Skinner, has anyone seen him? As far as I’m aware, there have been no sightings. He hasn’t tweeted since August, he hasn’t been mentioned in any articles in weeks, and our own Michael Citro jokingly suggested on The ManeLand PawedCast that he might be off-planet. I’m not saying he needs to be out making the news everyday, but to have completely ghosted the Pride supporters this off-season, seems a little weird. If my team had a season like that, I might want to hide as well, but he’s a professional coach. I’d at least expect him to throw out a tweet from the NCAA tournament, or maybe get caught on camera during a trip to Australia to watch his players or scout new ones. If we don’t hear something soon, someone put his mug on a milk carton.
There hasn’t been much turnover on the roster. I know that is nice to hear in regards to Alex Morgan, Ashlyn Harris, and Marta, but not so great given how historically bad this side was last season. It seems that the front office is giving Skinner more time to implement his scheme, but that will have to mean different personnel. Those on the roster who were not on international duty had their opportunity to learn his system, but it seems that it didn’t click for many of the players. The defense was one of the worst in the league, and if not for decent keepers, it could have looked even worse. I expect there to be quite a bit of turnover despite the Pride exercising the options on pretty much the entire squad. The Pride have the number one pick in the upcoming NWSL draft. Unlike in the past, I expect they will take advantage of bringing in those younger players.